So much business partner content we had to do 2 posts this week.
At the GigaOm Mobilize conference recently, IBM Business Partner Plantronics released an interesting study, How We Work
, that surveyed
more than 1,800 employees in six countries about their communication
habits and preferences. The results show that workers are increasingly leveraging a diverse toolbox of communications capabilities. E-mail, phone and IM are by no means dead (in fact, usage of all forms of communication has actually GROWN over the past 5 years); however, the more critical collaboration is to success and productivity, the more
people prefer in-person and video-driven meetings over text-based
communication. And SMS and social collaboration have grown in importance as well.
shows that, given the demands of work today, professionals are
essentially creating communication tool belts that allow them to pick
the right tool at the right time,” said Clay Hausmann, vice
president of Corporate Marketing at Plantronics. “Video, voice and
text-based communications all have a role, as does social media, and
one isn’t growing at the expense of another. The pace of innovation
around new communication technologies is astounding, and yet it is
the end user who ultimately decides which technology will play a key
role in their business communication and for what purpose.”
Among the various solutions to the "chat-from-a-Web-page-into-the-Call-Center" problem, Zion Software's Instant Help
is one of the most elegant ones.
Instant Help is a cloud-based solution that enhances existing on-premises Sametime installations with the ability to communicate with customers and partners outside the company's firewall. It provides the queuing mechanism to route instant messaging requests. It has a skills-based rules engine, a routing engine that takes skills and availability into consideration when routing incoming requests, it has the ability to hold queues when things get too busy, it allows transferring a session to colleagues and it provides redirection options to accommodate changes in staff availability.
I had a chance to see a demo of Instant Help and I was very impressed; good stuff.
One day late on the Business Partner Tuesday post...
How's this for a too-familiar dialog on an average business day?
“Hello? Who just joined?”
"Tom, there’s too much noise on your line, can you
please mute your phone?”
“Sorry I’m late. I couldn’t find the passcode for
For those of us who spend all day on conference calls (like me), and as more and more of us work remotely this will be the same for many of you, it would be nice to imagine
a meeting where you could see every participant by name, mute or un-mute
participants’ lines from your desktop, and have the meeting dial out to your
participants. Thankfully, that capability is available today with PGi audio conferencing
integration to Lotus Sametime.
PGi has been integrating with IBM for some time. Their first
TCSPI adaptor was launched in January 2004. Just this January they released their latest conferencing integration to
Sametime 8.5, including Mute/Un-mute, Dial Out, Lock Conference, End Conference and Disconnect User. By
embedding one-click access into web, video and instant messaging collaboration
applications, users can escalate the meeting experience while everyone is
engaged - facilitating quicker decision making and improved productivity.
PGi Global Collaboration
Services provides a wide range of collaboration services. You can learn more at www.pgi.com/gcs.
It was an excellent week in the news for IBM Unified Communications and Collaboration. The IBM Communications team has been hard at work getting us in front of a lot of industry press, and these articles are nice confirmations that what we want to talk about, people want to hear about.
As we posted earlier, IBM recently announced the availability of strategy and assessment services for Unified Communications as a Service
(UCaaS) for clients considering moving to a cloud environment. A recent post in the Nojitter.com blog ("Is the Cloud Right for Unified Communications?
", By Eric Krapf) ) highlights IBM's expertise in UC strategy and assessment services, and details several new considerations related to the cloud, including security, cost, regulatory environments and specific industry needs. The story was also picked up by several outlets, including VoIPPlanet (IBM Explores Pros, Cons of UC in the Cloud
) and BillingWorld (IBM Services Jumps on UC-in-the-Cloud Bandwagon
“What we do today is help customers build a long-term strategy and help them understand what the differences are in an on-premises private cloud vs. the public cloud," [Korkki] said. “We’re not pushing one technology over another. We start from the customers’ point of view and look at their needs, and then determine what the solutions are. Then we help them understand best deployment option." --Billingworld
"We have a history of building unified communications environments for customers and now what we see happening is the cloud taking off," Jeri Korkki, IBM Global Service Category Leader for ICS Cloud Services told InternetNews.com. -- VoIPPlanet.com
Network World published an article
on the rise of social computing due to enterprise-ready offerings in three key areas: sharing workspaces, social platforms and unified communications applications. IBM is the only vendor highlighted with offerings in each of the three categories.
"Social-computing products are transitioning from individual applications, such as blogs, wikis, or document sharing, to integrated social-computing suites encompassing and integrating many different tools."
SearchUnifiedCommunications quotes our very own John Del Pizzo,
discussing whether touch screen-enabled mobile devices will revolutionize unified communications.
"I think the touch screen device in mobile tablet form may end up replacing a lot of those fixed IP phones that do everything … [because] touch screen interfaces are certainly much more intuitive and easier than a phone keyboard," Del Pizzo said.
Recently IBM announced Singapore Airlines
' use of Sametime, IBM Lotus Notes/Domino, Traveler, Connections and Quickr to empower its geographically distributed workforce. That announcement received quite a bit of coverage, including some of the quotes you see below:
IBM won a bid over Microsoft, after a comprehensive total cost of ownership study evaluated by Singapore Airlines. The airline company chose IBM Lotus software for a more effective collaboration and communication among its geographically diffused man power despite mobility. – Silicon Angle
“What's interesting in the Singapore Airline announcement, is the specific focus on building out on their existing platform to enhance their collaboration, knowledge management and mobility support. In addition, Singapore Airlines has the confidence to stand with their vendor and announce their decision to maximize their investment in IBM/Lotus software.”- Leadership By Numbers
And we continue to see coverage from our IBM Customer Experience Suite announcement 2 weeks ago, from the media and blogger community around the globe. Of note, the Financial Times
highlighted the IBM Customer Experience Suite in Monday Sep 27th's issue of the paper:
If your call centre attracts more brick bats then praise, maybe its time to switch to web-based customer support. IBM’s Customer Experience Suite encourages customers to help themselves to information using blogs, chat forums, video, social networking tools and, increasingly, mobile devices. --Financial Times
Hello Sametime Blog Community! My name is Lisa Harris. As of the 1st of this month, I am the Offering Manager for the core Sametime portfolio (Entry, Standard & Advanced). The rest of our team remains the same: SUT Offering Manager Kathleen Cooke, Product managers Rob Ingram and David Marshak, and Industry Solutions lead, Marlon Machado. John Del Pizzo, continues at the helm, as Director of the entire UCC portfolio and strategy.
I've been with IBM for eleven years, starting in our Services division. I spent the majority of my career holding multiple leadership roles in the HW business (PCs and xSeries) prior to moving to the SW division in 2007. My core role in our SW business was Pricing and Investment Specialist of our Lotus Social Software Business, Portal Solutions and Rational Enterprise and Modernization Tools.
I bring a very deep passion and fervor for Collaboration solutions, including a diversified background that touches on all the elements of a complete IBM solution.
It is with great excitement, passion and enthusiasm that I happily take over the reigns of Offering Manager and continue our Unified Communication & Collaboration vision with this great team.
See you at Lotusphere!
On October 8 at 11am ET, IBM will be providing a live webcast detailing the integration of IBM Rational Team Concert (RTC) with Lotus Sametime. Development projects often come up short when
it comes to delivering on expected business results, and projects
often require rework or otherwise incur unanticipated costs. By combining advanced real-time collaboration capabilities with RTC's agile development environment, developers can gain instant access to
extended developer communities and information to help ensure that
projects meet their intended design points. You can go here
to learn more and to register.
Its big day for Sametime partner news. Polycom has announced
the availability of the integration of their video conferencing solutions and Sametime UC product. The integrated offering allows users to use their Sametime 8.5.1 desktop video clients to join Polycom video conferences along with other room system and telepresence users.
"Unified communications and collaboration is about making it easy for
people to find, connect and collaborate with others," said Joseph
Burton, chief strategy and technology officer, Polycom. "Polycom's
integration with the IBM UC2 environment puts our powerful, productivity
enhancing video collaboration tools just one-click away within the
Lotus applications that millions of people use every day. This extends
the value of customers' UC investments and drives greater ROI."
Sametime 22.214.171.124 just went live. Its a set of hotfixes for IBM Lotus Sametime 8.5.1. This reflectes the new numbering scheme Sametime is adopting vs the old CF1, CF2 etc numbering model.
Today and tomorrow there is an innovative virtual Lotus conference called LTAP (a virtual conference for Lotus technical and professionals users). There are many Lotus and partner speakers and two Sametime sessions featuring Rob Ingram and Marlon Machado from the Sametime team. Rob will cover whats new in Sametime and Sametime Unified Telephony 8.5.1 and Marlon will cover Sametime platform and industry solutions.
At 1pm ET today (Wed 27th), Rob will be joining my session live for chat and questions after the presentation. The sessions are all virtual so users can join and listen to a playback at any time.
Registration is free at this site:- http://www.ltapconference.com.
On Wednesday, October 20, Brent Wolfe and Brian Aylward will host a Lotus Techtalk to give us an overview of Sametime's integration with Radvision and Premier Global (PGi).
Radvision's Itay Reiner, Director of Product Management and Stacey Helenbrook, Director - Partner Products at PGi will join Brent and Brian to take us through the work the two companies are doing to provide audio and video solutions for Sametime. T he presentation will include company overviews and product updates with details regarding general architectural and integration methods of these products. Brent and Brian will also provide insight into how these solutions can be leveraged to drive successful Lotus Sametime installations resulting in new license or upgrade revenue.
The Techtalk is open to business partners. If you care to join, please register for this event at the PartnerWorld
On October 19, 2010 at 12:00 pm (Eastern Daylight Time), please join Clifford Spinac, Technical Specialist for Lotus SUT, in a free
Webcast to learn about the deployment
options for SUT and examine the architecture behind it. Hear from an insider
about the critical points where SUT integrates with your infrastructure and why
you need to be aware of them. Cliff also reviews basic call flows and what you
need to know about how SUT manages your telephone calls.
The webcast is hosted by the Lotus User Group.org, and sponsored by IBM Business Partners Plantronics and Meridian IT. Plus, every
attendee is automatically entered to win a Plantronics Voyager PRO UC wireless Bluetooth headset. Click here to register.